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Ukrainian singer Ruslana: Istanbul became a symbol of the victory for me

Kyiv - Author City Chief: Fatih

I did a reportage with Ruslana on my personal blog four years ago. I hope you know, Ukrainian singer Ruslana is the winner of Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 at Istanbul. And, Kiev hosted the next contest after Istanbul. I want to share this reportage again with you via Citiletter. Because this reportage includes both of the two Citiletter's Cities :)

Reporter: Hi, Ruslana! You’ve been famous after you won The Eurovision Song Contest in Istanbul, our country. I recognize you after the contest too. You were awesome on that night. Did you like Istanbul?

Ruslana: Absolutely! Istanbul became a symbol of the victory for me

Reporter: Can you tell us your feelings about our metropolitan city?

Ruslana: Wherever you wander its streets, the city has a special and indescribable feeling. This is probably why its character has influenced the work of so many artists and writers. I personally feel this emotion even more strongly when walking its shores. It has a very special light and feeling of quietness despite its 16 million people. Istanbul is one of those cities where you can feel history, splendour, and greatness.

Reporter: Could you tell us the Eurovision Song Contest process? How were you elected to your country? Which stages did you go through?

Ruslana: I was internally chosen by the NTU to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004. Before the contest, I was a hot favourite for victory by the bookmakers. At the Eurovision Song Contest 2004, I have performed the myself­composed song, “Wild Dances” and won the contest receiving 280 points.

“Wild Dances” was taken from her best­selling album of the same name, which was the first ever to go platinum in Ukraine. The song, sung partly in Ukrainian and partly in English, is described as a modern take on traditional Ukrainian ethnic music based on ancient rhythms and dances, mixing rock with ethnic dance music.

Reporter: Your show with fire was so wild. And, it was elaborated. Can you tell us your endeavouring?

Ruslana: Together with a team of artists, designers, dancers and musicians, I have created my live show with a mythical atmosphere where melodies, dynamic rhythms, colours, and movement collide to create otherworldly. Something wild. Something Energetic. It’s just a hard work of many people who made this show together with me from the lights and microphones till the music hits and amazing dances.

Reporter: In your Eurovision year, was there any who you thought would become the winner? What did you think about Athena, our singer? And, our winner Sertab Erener?

Ruslana: Goran Bregović was possible to take first place in my year. As for Athena band, they are ska and punk and I like this music. Especially now when I am also a little bit punk with my new shaven hairstyle :)

Sertab Erener is amazing singer and beautiful women. I have performed with her during the Eurovision 2005 opening.

Reporter: I believe the most different show was in Istanbul. It really was amazing. Can you tell me your feelings about that night?

Ruslana: I was just happy! I said thank you all who I have believed in me and helped me and thank you to all those viewers from different countries, who have cast their votes for “Wild Dances”. My victory at Eurovision is a victory over whole Ukraine. That is what I feeling. I exchanged phone calls with my friends and colleagues until early in the morning.

Reporter: What happened when you came back your country, Ukraine? Did you get to appreciate your humans?

Ruslana: A lot of people came to meet me at Boryspil Airport when I was returning from the Eurovision contest. They gave me flowers and congratulated me on victory. Of course, there are people who are envious, or whose inferiority complex makes them resentful. But luckily, I do not have time to pay any attention to petty intrigues.

Reporter: Did you have been to Turkey after the contest? Are you thinking of coming to Turkey for a concert or for other things?

Ruslana: I’m visiting Turkey with the concerts every year and even every season! My last performance took place in Ankara I guess last year. I got a lot of promotion of this concert! Every summer I have performed in resorts and also have a rest.

Reporter: What’s your favourite Eurovision song?

Ruslana: It is difficult to say. Maybe “Waterloo” by ABBA. My mama always said it’s her favourite song.

Reporter: Will you take part in Eurovision Song Contest again?

Ruslana: Probably no :)

Reporter: You’ve won the contest. Many talented youngsters dream of it. Would you like to share your experience with them?

Ruslana: I’m trying to share my experience with young musicians. That is why I became a coach of famous talent show “Voice of”. During the show, I got accustomed to all my team and it was so hard when someone left. It was not so important to me who will be a winner but will work a stage after the show and who will be a real artist. And I helped all of them and invited to perform in my concerts.

Reporter: The most puzzling thing I; you are a member of parliament on Ukraine. How does it feel both the singer and the politician?

Ruslana: All that I can say is that I’m not in policy anymore. And I’m very happy because of that because it was the hardest period for me as a singer! I came into politics with rose­colored glasses and left there very disappointed. I realized that in our country if you want to do something for your Motherland – you should do it by yourself; not hoping that one day somebody will hear or help you.

Reporter: Thank you for everything. And, I wish you success. We love you Ruslana! 

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